I am on loess soil type in Central Iowa. I have noticed this tree springing up EVERYWHERE. Any ideas on it? It has kind of a green/grey leaf, and as of yet, I have not seen them get beyond 15' feet high
Well when life gives you autumn olive, make jam (or wine)
I do want to warn against letting the good aspects of this plant overshadow the threat it poses to wild ecosystems and biodiversity, though. Without human intervention, grasslands and prairies as we know them in North America would probably eventually be converted to autumn olive monocultures. Not even wildfires can kill off this plant. I'm hoping ecologists will eventually discover a biological control to keep autumn olive in check, but in the meantime it's up to us to control it. I really don't recommend going out of your way to grow autumn olive, and it would be best to gradually replace any autumn olive on your property with native (or at least non-invasive) alternatives.
There are lots of native plants that can be used as an alternative, by the way. My first recommendation would be the silver buffalo berry, which is a native relative of autumn olive. It has some thorns and the berries are more tart than autumn olive, but it is a good nitrogen fixer and people say the berries make an excellent jam. Elaeagnus x ebbingei is another autumn olive relative to look into.
definately autumn olive..you should have had fragrant yellow flowers by now and they should have fallen off and you should get berries if they didn't frost..the birds will love them and go ahead and taste them when they get really ripe..some varieities are very tasty raw out of hand..other are good for use in other dishes.
they are related to goumi and russian olive (my favorite)..which has more whitish color to the leaves..blooms slightly later, slightly less invasive and bears its berries later..
they will get about 12' or so tall and wide..pretty much rounded head
Bloom where you are planted.
The trees are very invasive. 35 years ago there was one small shrub of this on our 80 acre farm. We noticed it because it was so different and because of the berries. The margins of the hayfields are now overrun with this plant and the state of CT, which encouraged it for wildlife, has now considered it an invasive species. Extremely tough to kill.
I have these coming up all along the edge of my property and while it makes a fine living fence, they will take over hill and dale if given the chance. Personally I trim these back each year and chip the branches into a mulch I then break down with king Stropharia mushrooms. I like to look at it as a renewable resource. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to plant them on purpose.
Some places need to be wild
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)